With the increased popularity of cryptocurrency systems like Bitcoin, there is a dire need for a technology tool that guarantees the security and decentralization of all transactional records.
Blockchain’s distributed nature perfectly suits today’s technology trends of allowing a unanimous update of the Blockchain data across all the nodes of a computer network.
Blockchain best suits this role since it maintains data record security involving a trusted third party. Additionally, it eliminates possible data duplication since Blockchain also ensures the integrity of data with a single source of truth. This further contributes to Blockchain’s security advantage.
Having looked at what makes Blockchain a popular in-demand technology tool, let us intricately cover what Blockchain is in programming.
What is Blockchain?
Blockchain refers to an immutable distributed ledger that facilitates the duplication and sharing of information securely across the nodes of a computer network. Data in Blockchain is broken into shared blocks. There are several existing transactions in each block of data.
Unique identifiers in the form of cryptographic hashes chain together these data blocks. In case of any new data transaction within the Blockchain, a similar data update is made across all the computer network nodes. This type of distributed update is known as distributed ledger technology or DLT.
Data alteration or deletion within the blocks requires a consensus from all other nodes of the computer network, thus making Blockchain immutable and fit for business transactions like tracking orders, and payments, among other transactions.
Blockchain employs built-in mechanisms that only allow authorized transaction entries and also create a consistent record of the shared information.
Top Blockchain Platforms
Blockchain platforms use sets of unchangeable cryptographically sealed transactions shared by the computer nodes to offer a decentralized mechanism to distribute, track and document value transfers.
Every record contains a time stamp and links to previous transactions. The platform, therefore, tracks digital assets’ life cycle and also records transactions in a distributed ledger.
Business solutions like supply chains decentralized exchanges, cryptocurrencies, and central bank money, among many others, use Blockchain platforms to serve Blockchain’s main goal of secure data transfer.
Below are the top Blockchain platforms that Blockchain experts highly recommend.
ETH, also Ethereum, is a popular platform introduced in 2013 by Vitalik that supports DApps and Smart Contracts and effectively provides scalability and smoothness.
This platform is famous for developing cloud games, wallets, and NFTs, among other Blockchain apps. It mainly eliminates data collection and further financial instrumental analysis by third parties.
#2. IBM Blockchain
IBM Blockchain is an adaptable and efficient IBM-owned Blockchain platform that allows its users to combine Blockchain components to create, utilize and develop personal Blockchain networks by providing a full-stack blockchain-as-a-service.
Its user-friendly interface has also made operations like setup and testing easier and has also contributed to the rapid deployment of smart contracts.
Ripple effectively allows companies to save on their Blockchain development and cross-border transaction costs since it validates its transactions using the consensus mechanism. Its transaction speed is relatively faster, around 4-5 seconds.
EOS is a secure and scalable extension of Ethereum and Bitcoin Blockchains used for developing and hosting DApps, allows smart contracts, and also deals with businesses’ scalability solutions by providing them with decentralized storage.
Stellar is a publicly owned decentralized network that lets you save and transfer money. It provides transparent and secure services that help its users create financial assets fast and secure fintech applications, digital assets, and tokens.
You can also use stellar to generate, trade, and send digital representations of money like dollars, bitcoin, etc.
The Corda platform is a permission and highly versatile platform with peer-to-peer distributed ledger technology. Its peer-to-peer model allows Corda to transact efficiently in real-time.
Corda is useful for its ability to allow various parties within the same Blockchain network to collaborate and seamlessly develop and deploy smart contracts. Additionally, it provides a secure and efficient way for operation execution.
#7. Hyperledger Fabric
Hyperledger Fabric’s open-source development platform is used to develop high-end Blockchain applications on its modular architecture. This platform comes with various plug-and-play components and provides various modular and adaptable designs to suit many industrial use cases.
Hyperledger Fabric establishes a network of networks, and this serves as its key characteristic.
Klaytn has a modular network with a network architecture that is adaptable. This is a public platform developed by Kakao.
Businesses take advantage of its modular network structure for the construction and operation of service-oriented Blockchains based on Klaytn framework. Its flexibility and customizability allow the creation of any online service on it.
#9. Hyperledger sawtooth
Hyperledger sawtooth is an open-source Blockchain project by Linux Foundation and Hyperledger. It uses the Proof of Elapsed Time, a new voting strategy that uses hardware-based security technologies.
This way, a trusted execution environment is enabled for the execution of program code in stable strongholds and computer memory locations that are encrypted.
Blockchain Development: Programming languages
Blockchain developers use different relevant programming languages which are specific to the programmable Blockchain’s building blocks, like smart contracts.
Each of these languages has specific features relevant to their implementation in the programmable bit of Blockchain.
This article has compiled a list of these languages with an overview of what they entail and how useful they are in Blockchain.
Solidity is a popular Blockchain programming language created by Christian Reitwiessner. It has a similar syntax to ECMAScript’s syntax, although its syntax portrays additional features, including static typing and variadic return types.
It is used to write smart contracts and runs them on the Ethereum Virtual Machine(EVM). Solidity uses the Ethereum platform to develop decentralized applications. It is necessary to learn Solidity before you can develop DApps.
Its popular features like user-friendly, precise accuracy, access to JavaSript infrastructures, and developer-friendliness makes Solidity suitable for developing DApps or ICOs. Avalanche, CounterParty, Binance, Hedera, Tron, and Smart Chain Tendermint are among the Blockchains that use Solidity.
Python’s easy syntax, open-source support, the vast resources and plugins it provides, and its cross-platform versatility makes it even more useful for Blockchain development.
Python’s interpreted nature could cause some problems for Blockchain’s complex cryptographic operations. Python being object-oriented, however, allows it to manage various performance-related overheads.
Python is regarded as an asset in the Blockchain-as-a-service platform and is highly recommended for developing DApps and Smart Contracts. Steem, NEO, and Hyperledger Fabric are examples of Blockchain solutions Python was used to develop.
Additionally, Python provides Graphical User Interface modules like PyQt5 and Tk that are essential in Blockchain programming.
C++ is especially popular with cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. Bitcoin is written in C++.
Blockchain developers use OOP features of C++, including function overloading, advanced multi-threading, and runtime polymorphism, to mold data and functions in one module. This mold is similar to how Blockchain molds its data with cryptographic chains.
C++ can also be used on the EOS Blockchain to develop smart contracts and cryptocurrencies like Litecoin, Stellar, Ripple, and Bitcoin.
You can use C++ for performance-critical applications since C++ can effectively use a few resources to run large applications. C++ also manages the CPU efficiently and provides memory control. It enhances performance by providing compile-time polymorphism. C++ is also easy to use and has a relatively faster execution time even compared to Java.
Java is famous for writing Blockchain platforms like Ethereum, NEO, Hyperledger fabric, and many more, where its features like API, portability, and OOP are mostly used.
Additionally, Java’s many libraries and its ability to clean memory with ease make it a suitable programming language for developing sophisticated smart contracts and DApps.
Java is also developer-friendly, making it easy to use. It avoids using explicit pointers, thus creating a secure interface that reduces possible security threats. Thanks to Java’s dynamicity and multithreaded features, achievement of CPU optimization is possible and, in the long run, makes Java flexible.
Vyper is the Blockchain’s newest programming language that acts as Solidity’s alternative. Vyper is also derived from Python 3, with its Syntax regarded as valid Python 3 Syntax.
Like Solidity, Vyper is used for Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM). Vyper, however, differs from Solidity by how it handles its security, and it also has different control structures than Solidity.
It does not have features like OOP functionalities, modifiers, and infinite loops, which are still available in Solidity. Not having these features have given Vyper a security advantage and made it a preferred option for writing smart contracts.
This is a fast and efficient programming language that builds Blockchain systems. Go also creates the Hyperledger fabric, a foundation used to develop Blockchain applications and Go-Ethereum.
Go is a statistically typed and compiled programming language with features like generics, constructors, classes, and inheritance. These features enhance performance and consequently make Go a suitable language for use in Blockchain. Go is also user-friendly, flexible, and highly scalable.
Rust is a recent adoption in Blockchain technology. It is a better preference for building solutions that are innovative, secure, and immutable.
It is useful to open-source Blockchain developers in creating fast and effective frameworks. Additionally, Rust provides them a mechanism to manage mutable states, opportunities that are concurrency based, and perform code optimization. Better memory options are is also an added advantage of Rust.
Building smart contracts on chains like Solana and NEAR is efficient with Rust.
Simplicity is a high-level Blockchain language based on Ivy created by Rachelle O’Connor.
Coding with Simplicity is easier and more effective because of the Haskell-like Syntax it works with. It is also an effective solution for developing Smart Contracts and other Blockchain solutions that work with Bitcoin and Ethereum Virtual machines because of its mathematical nature.
This is also because Simplicity’s code is human-readable, reducing complex and low-level understanding of the Bitcoin script.
Simplicity allows Blockchain developers to use its functions and features to build sidechains on Elements, an open-source Blockchain platform that has sidechain capabilities.
C# or C-sharp is a popular open-source OOP language developed by Microsoft and is a substitute for Microsoft coding Java.
This language uses an Extensible Markup language, which is used in different Blockchain programming like IOTA, NEO, and Stratis. C# is portable and therefore allows Blockchain developers to build applications with written portable code across platforms.
C# mainly builds DApps, smart contracts, and infrastructure within a Blockchain environment.
Clarity is a smart contract language that is Blockchain stack specific. Clarity is decidable, which means it does not support infinite loops and is also Turing incomplete. Therefore, there is a certainty for program execution to terminate at some point.
Its other feature is reentrancy prohibition. Reentrancy refers to a smart contract making a call to another contract, then it calls back to the initial contract. Reentrancy can cause security threats to smart contracts. Therefore, Clarity prohibiting reentrancy makes Clarity highly secure.
Job opportunities available for Clarity roles are higher than the developers. This should intrigue your interest to start learning it now.
Rholang uses a functional programming approach instead going the object-oriented way. Unlike languages like C and Python, Rholang evaluates a program as a function and solves these functions in sequences instead of using variables to store data and change the variable values with time.
Rholang is a suitable language for smart contract development. Code written with Rholang is fast because of its user-friendly nature. Before deployment, it checks for code errors using formal verification, thus making it a secure and reliable programming language.
Let’s wrap it up😎
With the recent popularity and surge in Blockchain opportunities, learning Blockchain and components like its platforms and programming languages to use is important.
Different languages are suitable for different secure Blockchain solutions development. Therefore, you can decide what language will be perfect for you to learn. Furthermore, several available online courses and resources can help you start or polish your skills to be a better Blockchain developer.
Neema is an experienced technical author and proficient web developer. She loves to teach about development through writing and code.